14 missing from fishing boat after Philippine sea collision
Manila, Philippines – The Philippine coast guard found no signs Monday of 14 people missing since a fishing boat and cargo vessel collided in choppy waters a day earlier.
The fishing boat was damaged and overturned, and the search for those aboard was hampered by strong waves, according to officials and coast guard photos.
The coast guard said the cargo vessel MV Vienna Wood collided with the FV Liberty 5 for unclear reasons in the early hours of Sunday about 27 kilometers (17 miles) off Mamburao in Mindoro Occidental province south of the capital, Manila.
A coast guard light plane and a helicopter joined the search Monday for the 12 fishermen and two passengers on board the Liberty 5, coast guard spokesman Commodore Armando Balilo said. After a daylong search, there was no sign of the missing people, he said.
The fishing boat had been heading for metropolitan Manila when the collision happened.
The Hong Kong-flagged cargo vessel, which first reported the collision, was taken into custody for an investigation and was escorted by a coast guard vessel to nearby Batangas province, the coast guard said.
The vessel, with 20 crew on board, was not carrying any cargo at the time of the collision. It was en route to Australia.
Sea accidents are common in the Philippine archipelago because of frequent storms, badly maintained boats, overcrowding and spotty enforcement of safety regulations. In December 1987, the ferry Dona Paz sank after colliding with a fuel tanker, killing more than 4,341 people in one of the world’s worst peacetime maritime disasters.